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Gov. Mike DeWine urges Ohio nursing homes to allow compassionate visits

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said on Monday that he is urging the state's nursing homes to be mindful of its visitation rules.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — For the better part of the past year, visitations at Ohio nursing homes have been limited as a part of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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But while there are still some federal restrictions in place, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine noted on Monday that there are some exceptions that apply.

At a press briefing on Monday, DeWine noted that CMS federal regulations only allow visits if a facility meets the following criteria:

  • No new COVID-19 cases at the facility in the last 14 days 
  • No current outbreak testing ongoing
  • A positivity rate in the community of at less than 10 percent

DeWine, however, also noted that there are exceptions that apply to the federal restrictions, including the ability to have compassionate care visits, which apply to residents who are suffering, at-risk or whose health is worsening. DeWine stressed that compassionate care visits do not only apply to end-of-life situations.

DeWine said that he is sending a letter to every nursing home in Ohio to remind them to check their county positivity rates on a weekly basis in order to determine their visitations status. He also said that he is urging the nursing homes to allow compassionate care visits in situations in which they are appropriate.

With Ohio's coronavirus numbers trending downward, DeWine said that some visitation restrictions could soon be lifted. The state's dashboard for nursing home and assisted living visitation data can be accessed here.

You can watch DeWine's full press briefing in the video below.